Those little boxes that pop up when you land on a website looking for something. We all are used to them now more than ever before. Chatbots have been around since 1966, however, only recently have businesses widely adopted chatbots to ease their customer-facing processes such as customer care and product assistance. These are software programs that interact with a human in a conversational manner. They act as digital assistants by providing relevant information, answering questions, discussing specific topics, and performing specific tasks – all based on information they are pre-programmed on or using Artificial Intelligence (AI). However, bots have an important yet untapped potential in the education sector.
There are several functions and benefits of chatbots in education. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), bots can be used to provide a personalized learning experience, take quizzes and assessments on courses, act as teaching assistants for students, act as digital assistants for teachers in administrative tasks, and to monitor the performance of learners.
Technology will never replace a teacher, however, deploying AI and chatbots in learning will make the teaching and learning process easier.
SLX, an e–learning company based out of Switzerland, focuses on blended learning and offers courses that help you adapt to rapidly evolving education. Read our post to know how teachers can keep up.
Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS)
Developed using AI, these systems are said to be effective in teaching some topics – such as algebra and grammar. Such systems are created by teaching computers to teach. These provide a personalized learning experience through short and in-depth learning modules on chatbots. ITS can constantly monitor a student’s progress and provide them with personalized learning.
Bots can engage present learners with topics in a format desired by them – text, videos, podcasts, or images. The learner can use the bot to learn at their own pace before taking assessments. Botsify is an example of a bot used widely in education.
Be it learning for schools and colleges, or employee training programs, chatbots have the capability of providing a tailored learning plan at the learner’s convenience and catering to their learning style.
Blended Learning with Chatbots: Microlearning
With COVID-19 increasing the demand for e-learning and online courses, can microlearning be far behind? Given how skilled the younger generations today are at using mobile devices, using chatbots for learning can provide them with a convenient and in-depth learning process.
Videos are the main source of content for microlearning. However, chatbots work best for teaching learners a topic by offering them nugget-sized content at a time. Moreover, videos can be a part of the chatbot’s learning plan, followed by textual content and assessments that would make learning interesting and easier for the learner.
To know more about microlearning and its advantages, watch our video:
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Chatbots can help teachers in traversing through administrative tasks, scheduling lessons and assessments, manage non-academic tasks, and keep track of their students’ progress. Teachers can focus on preparing courses instead of spending a lot of time on administrative tasks.
As virtual assistants of students, bots can assist students in browsing through course content. They can remind students about the learning and exam calendars, assignments, and keep track of their learning. Besides, learners who feel shy about giving wrong answers can without hesitation practice their answers before taking exams.
Instructional Assistance and Skill Development
Chatbots interact with visitors and potential customers on the websites of many goods and service businesses, to make their experience smoother.
Education as a sector has been a tad slow in embracing technology. Chatbots are an efficient yet cost-effective piece of technology that can make the transition experience smoother. They are integral to blended learning that has picked up pace in the wake of the pandemic. We at SkillUp – a partner of Swiss Learning Exchange – offer skill development courses to create smoother transitions in learning. SLX Learning is trying to create a community of educators who are embracing digitization and passing on their knowledge to encourage learners to do that.
We educate learners in everything from technology, entrepreneurship, culture to sustainability. To know more about our courses, visit the SLX online learning hub.
Empowering Education Through Chatbots – The Future
Chatbots help clear the clutter. They cut the effort for humans to navigate through a plethora of choices, and directly deliver the relevant learning material to the learner. The hassles of logging into an online learning hub, searching for courses, signing up – all will be done by the AI-empowered bot. It will also send frequent reminders and prompts about the courses. This will help track your progress, and monitor which subjects you need to work more on.
The application of chatbots in education is more recent as compared to their use in other fields and businesses. But it is bound to improve the learning process for both students and teachers. To give you an idea of the popularity of chatbot technology can be understood from the fact that Facebook has over 300,000 bots live on its messenger app as of 2018. This is three times more than what was the number on it in 2017.
Thus, AI and chatbots in education are here to stay and make learning more interesting and less cumbersome. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
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